Aby-a-Day – 5 Maj: Wordless Wednesday (Happy Gotcha Day, Lorelai!)

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Aby-a-Day – 5 April: Thanks for the memories (Monday Memory)

Facebook gave me some wonderful memories this morning. The first was the time a shirty MBTA conductor made me miss my stop to meet Meg for a cat show.

The second was of Tessie, happy with a box. Facebook can be evil…but it’s good for something, at least.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Mars: Fourteen Years Ago (Friday Flashback)

I got an email from Shutterfly today reminding me of photos I uploaded 14 years ago this week.They were all of Gun-Hee.

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Most of them were of Gun-Hee “watching” an NCAA basketball game.

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He had just turned six months old that week, too.

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It was so cute to watch him. On that TV screen, the basketball was about the size of a Superball.

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He clearly knew where the ball was. You can see he’s looking at it in this photo.

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Gun-Hee really wanted to catch that ball!

Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari: The second day at the Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Sunday)

The second day of that Swedish CFA show was as much fun as the first, both for us and for Jacoby.

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We had a lot of judges come over from the US. At this point, I had only been in Sweden for six months, so it was fun to see some familiar faces and hear some familiar accents.

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This judge, Albert Kurkowski, was one of the few non-American, non-CFA judges; he was from Poland, and he was a guest judge from the World Cat Federation.

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I really enjoyed watching him handle Jake.

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There was a really pretty little Burmilla girl who was frequently benched next to us during judging.

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She reminded me a bit of Tessie.

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This judge, Inga Balciuniene, was also a WCF guest judge from Latvia.

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Pam DeLaBar is a CFA judge who lives in Finland. I actually hadn’t ever seen her at a show in the States. It’s nice having another ex-pat in the cat fancy.

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And our friend Russell Webb was there, too. He was always Jake’s lucky charm.

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Jake was Second Best cat in Premiership in Russell’s ring.

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As we did Saturday, when Jake got a little antsy we went outside to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother with the harness and leash. I figured, how far is he going to get in that deep snow.

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Famous last words.

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He started making off towards a little house. He went pretty far really quickly, too! I was surprised how hard he was to catch.

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I finally caught him, though.

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The cats we have now are awesome, and a lot of fun to show…but I still miss going to shows with Jake.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Januari: Scenes from a Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

I never did post the photos from the CFA show we went to in 2017 I was reminded of yesterday.

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Jacoby seemed delighted to be back at a CFA show after competing in a few FIFe shows.

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And our friend Teresa Keiger seemed delighted to see Jake on her judging table again.

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Many CFA judges enjoyed showing off Jake’s “hands off” style on the judging table, and Teresa is one of them.

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People never got over how he loved to just stand and pose on the table, with absolutely no desire to run off.

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Jake really loved CFA shows.

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Even so, later in the day Jake started getting a little antsy, so we took him outside to play in the snow.

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The snow was fresh and wicked deep.

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I think Jake was happy for a break outside…but a little taken aback by how much snow there was.

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That didn’t stop him from exploring, though.

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He even plowed his way to a chain link fence.

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When he got there, he gripped the links and looked out through the fence.

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It was strangely reminiscent of the way he loved to look through the chain link fence in our little park along the Harborwalk back in Boston.

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After the first day of showing was over, we settled into our hotel. Jake knew where his food was!

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Jake and Björn chilled on the bed watching TV.

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There happened to be a documentary about cats on TV that night!

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Jake was very interested in it and watched intently. It was so cute!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Januari: Remembering Jacoby’s last CFA show (Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, Björn, Jacoby and I were at our first (and Jake’s only) CFA show in Region 9 (Europe). There in only one CFA show in Sweden annually, and it’s inconveniently located and so close to the beloved Örebro show, so we only entered it the one time.

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It was fun, though, and Jake really enjoyed himself. He always preferred CFA’s format to FIFe’s. And, entered in the show, were three Abyssinians descended from Instincts cats.

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It was fun to see old friends again. Pam DeLaBar, a CFA judge, is also another American expat living in Finland.

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There was also a lot of snow. When Jake started getting bored, we went out and played in it.

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This show was also the only show where Jake finalled in every ring. There were only nineteen cats entered in Premiership, and, interestingly, they were almost all older than five years. It was a fun time…even though the rosettes were printed on cardboard.

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We went outside again on Sunday to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother to put Jake on his leash. He went on a bit of a walkabout before I was able to catch him!

I’ll share more photos from that show weekend tomorrow and Sunday.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Januari: Happy New Year’s memories (Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook greeted me with this memory of Gun-Hee and Patrick on New Year’s day 2007. Pretty remarkable, actually, considering I wasn’t even on Facebook back then!

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Gun-Hee LOVED Patrick, right from the very beginning.

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Trick, on the other hand…well, they were 12 years apart in age, and he’d recently lost his best friend Harri, so it took him a little while to warm up.

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But Gun-Hee persevered. Or, to be more honest, he wore Trick down.

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And when an Abyssinian puts his mind to something…resistance is futile.

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A year later, they were the best of friends. Patrick, who for some reason preferred boycats to females, was particularly sad when Gun-Hee died less than two years after Harri. Perhaps the three of them are together with Jacoby in StarClan.

Aby-a-Day – 25 December 2020: God Jul, Allihopa! (Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of Christmas three years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but it was our last Jul with Logan, and it was also our last Christmas at Björn’s mother’s house.

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We took the train to Jönköping Julafton morning. It was fairly chilly, so he wore Jacoby’s old snowflake hoody.

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Jake had a snazzy new sweater of his own.

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Jake had been to Björn’s mom’s house once before, but this was Logan’s first time.

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As I’ve said before, Björn&’s mom always made the perfect traditional Swedish Julbord, and it was marvellous. We had the cold courses (hard-boiled eggs with caviar, pickled herring, and smoked salmon)…

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…mustard-crusted ham, Jul cheese and red beet salad…

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…prinskorv and meatballs (before cooking, here)…

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…and sausage, cabbage rolls and Janssons frestelse, which is basically scalloped potatoes that are julienned instead, with anchovies added. It’s delicious, I promise.

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Anyway, I had found this special Jul apple at the grocery store, and brought it to Björn’s mom because I thought she’d like it.

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Christmas morning, Logan was sitting on a kitchen table chair, and he looked so cute I had to pose him with the apple. The rest is (Facebook) history.

Aby-a-Day – 11 December 2020: Remembering Jacoby’s helpfulness (Friday Flashback)

As Facebook does, it reminded me this morning that four years ago today, I was trying to put the duvet covers and fitted sheet away.

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However, my attempts were thwarted by a very cozy Jacoby.

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Somehow, I was not bothered by this interference then, and I am still pretty okay with it.

Aby-a-Day – 27 November 2020: Jake’s fabulous turkey outfit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

I know I’ve posted Jacoby and his fabulous turkey outfit many times before, but the memory came up again on Facebook this week, and I couldn’t resist sharing it again.

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Preparing for the fashion show at the Westchester Cat Club show, Jake didn’t just wear that thing. He owned it. So much so that the creator gifted it to Jake after the show.

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He posed so perfectly on that green sofa.

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Jake was so confident, he didn’t mind sharing the sofa with another contestant.

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My favourite thing about that turkey outfit is that even Jake himself knew how good he looked wearing it.

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He looked at himself for the longest time, admiring himself. I know they say cats don’t recognise themselves in mirrors, but I think Jake definitely did.

Aby-a-Day – 22 November 2020: Remember when we travelled? (Cat Show Sunday)

Today Björn posted a memory from this day last year, with the comment, “It’s a year since the last cat show we attended, and when we could travel like so many times before. How things can change in a year…”

This was the train to the ferry to a Turku, Finland, where Izaak and Lorelai earned their International Champion titles. We haven’t been to a show since then. A whole year without a cat show…hard to believe. And I haven’t been anywhere at all since July! Because of my asthma I stay in as much as possible, especially since the health officials in Sweden are still saying masks don’t help against the coronavirus…especially on public transportation.

“We don’t see that we are at a point where we might recommend general use of face masks on public transport,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Public Health Agency in Stockholm, told reporters on Thursday. “Face masks shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to keep a distance.” That’s a direct quote. Yeeeeaaahhhh…I’m not going anywhere by train for a while.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Oktober 2020: A most memorable Halloween

This being an election year, I am especially reminded of Halloween 2012, the day Jacoby and I were interviewed by the local NBC affiliate and the Boston Herald.

Meg messaged me first thing Thursday morning…OMG, she said. Jake is on the front page of the Herald. Okay, I figured, he was in a little sidebar photo. Nope.

Here’s the online article (the actual newspaper article was too big to scan).

Not only that…there was a second story and yet another photo of me with Jake.

The crazy thing was…it was most definitely not a slow news week. Besides Wednesday being Halloween, that Sunday, the Patriots has just played a game in Wembley Stadium in London, the worst of Hurricane Sandy hit Boston on Monday, and there was also some sort of election thingy happening the following Tuesday. But yeah…Strollercat was the Herald’s Page One story on Thursday, 1 November 2012.

It was, hands down, the most surreal week of my life. As the Boston Globe’s Michael Morisy so aptly described it, “It’s stuff like #StrollerCat that keeps me simultaneously in love with & terrified of this amazing city.” Yeah, I may have grown up in California, but Boston is my home.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Oktober 2020: My last NEMO show (Cat Show Saturday)

Facebook reminded me today that exactly five years ago, Jacoby and I were at our last NEMO show. Kind of interesting that in 2015, the 10th and 11th of October fell on Saturday and Sunday the same as this year. One nice thing about the show hall at Sturbridge is that it has WiFi, so I was able to FaceTime with Björn and virtually introduce him to my friends.

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It was funny…Jake never used to “pole dance” on the judge’s table, but for some reason, at that show, he did it quite a few times!

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He seemed as surprised as anyone.

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He got a catnip kick-stick from our friend Donna.

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He really liked it.

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We also got to meet our friend Kim’s famous Bobby, star of Netfix’s Catwalk. Yes, we can honestly say we knew him when.

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Jake’s mini-me was at the show, too.

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I had to show it to Carla Bizzell, who had once called Jake a posable action figure. She was quite amused.

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And let’s not forget the costume contest! Jake and I dressed as >a href=”target=#>Jake from State Farm and the woman on the phone.

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It was the best costume. I got to wear a bathrobe and pajamas all day. And I even had a phone.

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“What are you wearing, ‘Jake from State Farm‘?”

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That was one of the best shows I’ve ever been in. I’ll always remember it fondly.

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New England is beautiful in autumn…but our part of Sweden gets similar bright foliage, so I don’t miss it too much.

Aby-a-Day – 25 September 2020: Licking leads to biting (Friday Flashback)

Facebook has been reminding me a lot about Alfred and Logan lately. This one came up today.

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Look at little Logan, sleeping peacefully on the IKEA cat bed.

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Suddenly, a wild Freddy appears!

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Freddy uses licking.

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It’s super effective!

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Although, to his credit, Logan did get a pretty good chomp in on Freddy’s ear.

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I also made a little video of the encounter; click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 21 September 2020: Logan and Jacoby (Monday Memory)

Facebook reminded me that, three years ago, Logan really wanted to be friends with Jacoby.

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And also this exchange with Stellan: “Aha… you’ve been seduced over to the darkside,” he said.
“Well, I don’t think I’d go that far,” I said. “I’ve definitely been seduced over to the sepia side, though.” I still use that one.

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Logan used to do this thing we called the “Singa bum bump.” Izaak does it once in a while, but it was Logan’s signature move.

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He’d walk past Jake, just brushing his pelt…

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…and then turn his butt and bump Jake with it. Sort of like a head bonk, with the other end.

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It was really cute to watch.

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Jake was rather unimpressed.

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I love the expressions on his face in these photos. They were taken two iPhones ago, and they aren’t the best quality, but they really show how much Logan liked Jake.

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Singas do that, though. As I showed over the weekend, when they decide they want to be your friend…that’s it.

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Resistance is futile.

Aby-a-Day – 7 September 2020: Memories of a first adventure (Monday Memory)

Yesterday, this memory popped up on Facebook.

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This was Jacoby’s first outing to Binford Park on the Harborwalk, as well as his first time on a harness and leash.

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It may have been Angel’s first trip to Binford, but not, of course her first outing.

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Angel wasn’t super-comfortable being out on a leash, but she still tried to help little Jake out on his first adventure.

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It was so wonderful to watch them together outside.

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This is actually my favoutite photo from that outing. Look at them; I wish they could still go out on outdoors adventures together.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Augusti 2020: Three years ago today…(Medical Monday Memory)

Three years ago today, my life changed: I was bitten through the finger while giving Pyret a pill.

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Being new to the Swedish medical system, I stupidly went to the local clinic (Vårdcentralen), even though I was well aware of how serious a cat bite is, especially on the hand. I just thought that’s what you were “supposed” to do. The doctor I saw was Spanish, and spoke little English. I tried to tell her it was serious, but she waved me off with just a prescription for penicillin.

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I didn’t know that I could go straight to the hospital. I thought, then, that you had to be referred by Vårdcentralen (although, to be honest, that worthless “doctor” should have known to send me there straightaway). Now I know I can go to the Akuten (emergency department) if I need to. Twenty-four hours later, I woke up screaming in pain so badly Björn almost called an ambulance.

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They bundled me into a room, pumped me full of antibiotics and morphine, and got me into surgery as quickly as they could.

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This is me just after the first surgery. Within a week, I would have two more operations to flush the bacteria out of my tendon sheath.

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I also had a lot of morphine. The pain involved with repeated hand surgeries is insane.

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The brightest part of my week in the hospital was the two evenings Björn smuggled Logan into my hospital room.

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One time when a nurse came in, we hid him under my blanket.

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He was good and held still; the nurse never knew he was there.

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After a week in hospital, I was released, but still had several wound checks and dressing changes. When I first got home, my hand was in a plaster cast. I was also still on penicillin and painkillers. It seemed to be healing nicely, but on my last wound check, 20 September (the same day Alfred was neutered), the nurse noticed my finger seemed red and hot. She sent me back to the hospital, and they determined that, despite still being on antibiotics, the infection had managed to return. They wanted me to have surgery immediately, but I had to go to pick up Freddy, who was literally at the other end of the bus line.

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It took a really long time to get him (I ended up taking a taxi for part of the return trip), gathered my things and got back to the hospital just before 17:00. Apparently, I took too long to get back and they weren’t able to do the surgery until the next morning.

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This last, fourth surgery was the most painful. They put more stitches on my palm than on the previous surgeries, and the skin seemed to have been stretched more than the other three.

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It also bled a lot more than the other three operations.

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A month after the first anniversary of my bite, we were at a cat show in Västra Feölunda and ran into Göran, the recovery nurse after my first surgery. His sambo breeds Cornish Rex, and we (used to) see them at shows frequently. He asked to take a look at my hand, and I made a comment about being lucky I still had a finger.

“You could have lost more than that,” Gören said. “I could have lost my hand?” I asked.

“You could have lost even more than that,” he responded. And that was how, a year later, I learned that I could have died from this bite! Even with as much as I know about cat bites, I never thought it could have been fatal.

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This is how it looks today. It’s still very stiff and it sometimes aches and feels crampy. I’ll never have a normal hand again.

So, again, the moral of the story is: If you are EVER bitten by a cat on your hand – and especially your finger – GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM as soon as you can!